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What Does a Plumber Do?

Plumbers are skilled tradespeople who install, repair, and maintain plumbing systems for water supply and sewage and drainage in homes. Their work may involve inspecting plumbing for compliance with health and safety codes, repairing a toilet that clogs frequently, or installing plumbing for renovation projects.
Career Info

The qualifications to become a plumber include completing a certificate program or associate degree in plumbing, gaining an apprenticeship, and passing licensing exams. Many vocational schools and community colleges offer courses in this trade.
Skills and Strengths

A plumber needs to have a strong work ethic, patience, and a keen eye for detail. This helps them assess problems and recommend solutions efficiently. They should also be able to troubleshoot issues and explain them to homeowners in a clear and concise manner.

They must be physically fit and in peak condition because they often perform strenuous tasks, such as working at heights over rooftops or crawling through narrow crevices. They are required to use their hands to manipulate several small pieces of tools, which requires good hand-eye coordination for efficient and quick results.

Being mechanically inclined is a key skill for this job because plumbers need to understand the mechanics of the systems they troubleshoot, such as how a valve works and what kind of tubing is best for certain applications. They must also know what type of drains are most suited to each application and how to avoid future damage to the system.

Customer service is another important characteristic for this profession. Whether it is over the phone or in person, plumbers should be courteous and friendly to customers. They should explain the scope of work and their price in clear terms and be able to answer questions.

Listening is an essential skill for this profession because it allows them to hear what a homeowner is saying. They must be able to listen carefully and ask follow-up questions, if necessary, in order to understand what a problem is.

A strong work ethic and a willingness to go the extra mile is an asset for this career because they must be able to work long hours and travel across town or around the country to get the job done correctly. They must be willing to invest in their skills, equipment, and training, as well as continue to learn new methods and procedures to ensure they are the most competent professionals possible.

They should be able to communicate in plain language that is easy for the average person to understand, minimizing the chance of misunderstandings and conflicts between them and their clients. This is especially important in residential settings, where communication is often not as direct and clear.

They should have a license to practice their profession and be insured in case of an accident or injury. They should also have a clean background and good references from previous employers. Having a clean background is an excellent indication of professional integrity and honesty, which are important qualities for this career.

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